London, June 18 (IANS) Rumours of Chelsea's desire to replace Maurizio Sarri with club legend Frank Lampard as head coach has been gaining steam since the end of the previous season. Lampard, who is Chelsea's all-time highest goal-scorer, nearly led Derby County to promotion to the Premier League in his very first season as manager before losing to Aston Villa in the playoff final.
The 40-year-old's uncle and football manager Harry Redknapp, who had given Lampard his senior debut at West Ham United, also said that his move to Chelsea seems imminent. "If Chelsea come calling, it's a difficult one for him to turn down," Redknapp told BBC Radio 5 Live. "In my personal opinion, he'll be the manager of Chelsea. It looks to me like it's going to happen."
British media has reported that Chelsea is looking to approach Derby County this week. Derby, however has made it clear that the club is yet to receive any official word from the Europa League winners.
"We have made it very clear to everyone, but most importantly to Frank, that we want to retain Frank for the long term," said Derby chairman Mel Morris according to BBC. "If Chelsea want to hire Frank, then it is in their gift to make an offer in pursuit of that.
"In the meantime, we will continue to put our best foot forward to continue with our plans for the coming season and work with Frank for him to know how much he is wanted by everyone associated with the club."
As a player, Lampard has won three Premier League titles and a Champions League with Chelsea in addition to being the club's all time goalscorers with 211 strikes.